In a world full of answers you start your journey by asking the right questions
The big news story today comes from the Where 2.0 conference where it was announced that if you are using an iPhone or 3-G iPad then Apple is recording your moves.
So should you be concerned and has your right to privacy been invaded?
In the first instance it is important to understand that Apple isn’t doing anything the Telcos are not already doing.
The Telcos collect this data, and a whole lot more, within their Network Data Records. Every time you move between mobile cell towers the network records the movement. In fact it has done this from day one of rolling out the mobile cellular phone network. It is basically how the system works… otherwise you would be able to receive the call. They keep the data at least 7 years for Federal compliance and it is made available upon demand to the Federal Authorities. This Federal compliance requirement is all part of the deal that allows the Telco the rights to operate on their share of the wireless bandwidth.
The only thing Apple is doing differently from the Telcos is how it goes about recording the data. With Apple the data is recorded and stored on the device. With the Telco it’s stored in “the Cloud” on the Telco’s servers.
Why is Apple collecting this information?
a. They can’t get the data out of the telco. This may be because the telco’s data warehousing systems simply aren’t good enough to allow either the Telco or the 3rd Party to extract the data in a cost-effective or timely manner, or the Telcos are unable to share the data due to the existing Federal privacy legislation as it applies to the Telecommunications Act. and,
b. They probably expect to be, if they are not already, competing head to head with Google/Android in the near future. So anything Google does Apple will try to do better. This means competing head to head in the targeted advertising and marketing space… and these means putting the technology in place to deliver location-based advertising. Now assuming Google knows where you are when you are using your Android phone, and assuming Facebook knows where you are when you are using the Facebook App why are you worried if Apple knows where you are when you are using your iPhone?
This of course begs the question would Google’s search advertising business model, or for that matter Facebook’s, be sustainable if the level of Privacy imposed on Telcos or Banks was applied to this current generation web based Advertising and Direct Marketing “Start-ups?”